Christchurch vying for Wellington’s arts capital title

Christchurch is vying with Wellington as the country’s creative capital.

The city council, Creative New Zealand, ChristchurchNZ and the Rata Foundation have begun developing a new 10-year citywide strategy for the arts.

“In 10 years, we want to have a reputation as a truly creative city that embraces the arts. How do we make it happen?” a city council report said.

But until public feedback is gathered, there is very little detail about what the strategy might look like.

City council general manager citizens and community Mary Richardson said it would be determined “through the engagement and discussion process.”

“It is expected the strategy will look at all art forms, creative industries, arts events, education, opportunities for emerging arts practice, arts funding, Māori arts practice and more,” she said.

But she said operational matters relating to facilities and events are excluded.

At this stage there is no breakdown for the strategy’s budget.

“There is no additional budget allocated through council. However, the strategy will likely guide funding allocation for funders,” Ms Richardson said.

Developing the plan will be between $18,000 and $20,000, with an additional $20,000 contributed by partners.

ChristchurchNZ chief executive Joanna Norris said a thriving arts scene contributes enormously to the vibrancy of the city.

“Galleries, street art, theatre, live music, film and literature are all ingredients of an exciting and sophisticated city. This is why we are huge supporters of the development of a city arts strategy,” she said.

The development of an arts strategy will ensure that our arts and creative industries continue to grow with a clear plan that supports this, Ms Norris said.

Workshops were held in Christchurch and Akaroa last week. On August 11 an open forum at the Arts Centre will be held with council staff discussing themes that came out of the workshop.

“Further consultation on the draft strategy will take place from late September through October 2018,” Ms Richardson said.

It is expected the city council would adopt the final strategy in November before it it implemented early next year.

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